Your home is a significant investment that requires routine maintenance, and fall is the perfect season to conduct all the necessary tasks. Below are ten essential services to include in a first time homeowner maintenance checklist to guarantee that your property is in perfect condition during winter.
1. Have Your Roof Inspected
Your home’s first line of defense against the impending heavy snow and strong winds is its roof. Therefore, ensuring it’s in the most excellent condition possible by having a reputable roofer perform a thorough roof check is one of the essential tasks to include in your first time homeowner maintenance checklist.
For your roof to remain safe throughout the approaching chilly weather, they will look for any cracked or missing shingles while keeping an eye out for blocked or broken gutters. Sticks, leaves, and other debris can quickly accumulate in gutters, making it difficult and time-consuming to clean them thoroughly. To keep them clean and debris-free during the fall and winter seasons, a roofer may recommend installing leaf guards on your roofing.
2. Fix Any Leaky Pipes
The plumbing system is another vital aspect to include in a first time homeowner maintenance checklist since if it has any defects, it may cause serious issues. Over time, plumbing leaks can seriously harm a building’s structure. Not only can leaky or clogged drain pipes be a significant annoyance, but they can also pose a real health risk, mainly if they are sewage drain pipes.
Often, pipes are located inside slab floors or walls. There could even be pipes in attics. Septic tanks and drain fields could require replacement or significant repair. If such work is needed, now would be the ideal time to seek maintenance services.
The type of pipes utilized in the system can be another plumbing factor. Some pipes could introduce lead into the water supply; hence it’s essential to make a well-informed decision when deciding whether or not to replace those pipes. Having your plumbing evaluated by a qualified plumbing inspector is the best way to get accurate information about the condition of your plumbing.
An expert plumber who has received specialized training in house plumbing inspection will be familiar with plumbing and all the difficulties present while inspecting a home. They will also make the necessary repairs to ensure your system is in perfect working condition.
3. Get Your Outdoor Spaces Cleaned
Your outdoor spaces can be seriously damaged, whether from water damage or the threat of mold and mildew. Adverse weather, which is more likely to occur in the fall and winter, can damage your decking area. Therefore, establishing a routine for deck upkeep is an excellent component to include in a first time homeowner maintenance checklist.
Before winter arrives, make sure your deck is clear of any debris. Although it might not seem significant now, dirt, leaves, pine needles, and other debris can accumulate over time on your deck and between floorboards. This debris makes it easier for snow and ice to accumulate and trap moisture over the winter, which is bad for your deck because it leads to wood decay and other structural and intrinsic issues. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly clean your deck before the winter and to add a strengthening layer of protection by staining and sealing.
Unsealed decks are vulnerable to moisture intrusion, leading to decay, warping, cracking, and other problems. Deck rot increases the likelihood of pest ingress while destroying the strength and integrity of your deck. Simply by remembering to plan for your deck’s maintenance each fall, you may avoid expensive repairs like fading, splintering, rotting, and more. You shouldn’t have trouble scheduling an appointment because it’s not typically as busy as spring.
4. Make Sure Your Heating System Is Up-to-Date
When we switch on our central heating and cooling system during the cold season, we anticipate that it will be able to maintain the desired temperature. Therefore, you must factor in professional services in your first time homeowner maintenance checklist to get better heating system performance. Working with a specialist will ensure that your heating system operates optimally throughout the winter by thoroughly cleaning and lubricating all components.
Your service professional will examine and tighten electrical connections and clean the blower section. They should also inspect the gas connections, burner combustion, and heat exchanger and include a check to ensure no carbon monoxide is released from your heating system while operating.
A complete tune-up will involve expertise, equipment, and information that an experienced service technician can only provide. A competent expert should also do steam or hot water boiler maintenance because additional controls and safety features need to be tested and examined to guarantee proper operation. You can increase the lifespan of your heater by up to 50% by getting it serviced every fall; a heater that would have required replacement after ten years will last 15 years with routine maintenance.
5. Have Your Septic System Pumped
The fall season is the ideal period to maintain your home’s septic system. It’s partly because many homes experience greater septic system use during the fall since most people spend more time indoors. But more crucially, performing fall septic system maintenance enables you to anticipate the environmental stress a septic system will experience in the winter. These environmental difficulties may worsen underlying problems, resulting in an abrupt failure of an otherwise productive system.
To make sure that it becomes a habit, many homeowners decide to pump out their tanks at the same time each year. In light of this, you might consider doing all the upcoming septic system jobs by including these tasks in your first time homeowner maintenance checklist. These actions will lessen septic problems throughout the year, even in winter. Regardless of your cadence, the onset of fall in your region could serve as a timely reminder of this vital maintenance task.
It’s also crucial to consider the septic tank cleaner agents and how they could affect your septic tank. While many common household chemicals are safe, some of them have the potential to damage your septic tank and even kill the bacteria that break down particles within. Significant issues, such as the tank clogging up, groundwater pollution, and more, may arise if the bacteria in your septic tank are not present. Using active dry yeast is the most efficient natural cleaning method for septic systems, while vinegar is helpful if your septic mainline is clogged.
6. Have Your Tile Cleaned
One of the best things you can do to enhance the beauty and ambiance of your home significantly is to install tiles. Therefore, it’s essential to include them in your first time homeowner maintenance checklist to have them cleaned. It will enable you to maintain their beauty and condition properly.
Dirty tiles have an impact beyond the look as they may also affect their quality and condition, related to their lifespan. Tile owners can attempt to clean their floors, but they will likely fall short of the level of cleaning provided by professionals. For this reason, hiring a professional tile and grout cleaner is an excellent idea. They have the knowledge, skills, and expertise necessary to address any cleaning issues you may encounter. They will be able to easily remove stains, markings, and other tile cleaning issues and give your tiles the professional cleaning they deserve.
7. Replace Drafty Windows
Fall is one of the most popular times to install new windows due to the mild weather. Fortunately, your family will not be severely inconvenienced by extreme heat or cold during the fall since there will be a time when the window structure will be open when your contractor installs your new windows. Another advantage of scheduling your home’s window replacement during fall is that caulk sticks better to surfaces when the temperature is warm but not stifling.
Before replacing your windows, it will be necessary to determine what kind of window will look best in your house. Finding a window that has an energy-efficient rating is another significant task to include in your first time homeowner maintenance checklist. The windows you select will affect your energy expenditures for the next 20 years, so consider all relevant elements when deciding.
A window replacement service will assist in preventing the loss of interior cooling throughout the winter. If done correctly, window replacements can boost energy efficiency by up to 50%. A new replacement should have a U-Factor of 0.3 or less and an R-Value of at least 5. Vinyl windows are popular among homes since they are durable and can eventually lower your utility costs.
It would be best if you also considered the insulating qualities of the glass and frame when choosing replacement windows. The glass’s ability to retain heat throughout the winter will increase with thickness; therefore, you can consider having a triple or double-glazed window. Using argon-filled gas between your panes would be one of the best strategies to enhance insulation.
8. Give Your House a Fresh Coat of Paint
The correct paint can withstand almost all the natural elements that could harm your home, including rain, wind, sleet, snow, and insects. Keeping moisture penetrating your property helps avoid the exorbitant costs associated with mold and mildew damage. It also adds a layer of defense from direct precipitation harm, enabling you to prevent the invasion of insects onto your exterior, which is why this task should also be on the first time homeowner maintenance checklist.
Any siding on your house can benefit from a fresh coat of exterior paint to lengthen its longevity. New paint can extend the lifespan of that siding by a few more years, enabling you to save money in future costs. Additionally, fresh paint can help you conceal damage to your old siding. Make sure you hire a professional exterior house painter with adequate experience in the field to ensure you get the desired results from their high-quality services.
9. Repair Any Broken Fence Links
First-time homeowners should begin to assess the upkeep projects and repairs that their homes require before winter, and checking your fence for wear and damage is among these tasks. Although fences are usually strong and resilient, some can experience deterioration that leads to structural issues. Contact the fencing professionals if you have any problems or queries regarding the structural condition of your fence.
Before fixing any damage, homeowners should evaluate if the costs to repair the fence outweigh replacing it with new fence installations. Over time, older fences could require more maintenance, and in some situations, replacing an old fence might be more cost-effective than to keep making repairs. In either situation, you can determine your demands and select the best type of fencing material for your home with the assistance of a reputable fence contractor.
10. Get Your Chimney Swept
In the fall and winter, fireplaces often experience an increase in their usage since homeowners begin lighting fires regularly after months of inactivity during the summer. Therefore, it is essential to incorporate chimney sweeping and inspection as part of the first time homeowner maintenance checklist.
Putting off this essential service might result in blockages, cracks, wear and strain on your entire structure, and decreased overall efficiency. That implies reduced heat output, a chance of smoke backup, and higher future repair costs. The accumulation of tar, acidic water vapors, and soot can lead to chimney obstructions. You can avoid the deadly buildup of toxic, life-threatening gases in your house by performing routine chimney sweeping.
Scheduling chimney sweeping and maintenance services will guarantee that your fireplace operates at its most effective levels. It’s time to rely on experts to remove the strain off your shoulders if you want your system to heat your home efficiently. Give them control of your fireplace so you can sit back, unwind, and take full advantage of it during the coming months.
Carrying out these ten tasks on your first time homeowner maintenance checklist will help you prepare and maintain your home for a stress-free winter and a joyful spring.